Morning Glories

Recipes for Breakfast, Brunch & Beyond from an American Country Inn

By: Donna Leahy

Published By: Rizzoli International Publications, 1995
ISBN: 0-8478-1923-X

From the inside of the jacket:

Donna Leahy, the author of Morning Glories, promises to become a bright new star on the American food scene. Leahy and her husband are innkeepers at the Inn at Twin Lindens in Churchtown, Pennsylvania; Donna is the chef. The inn is known for its graceful early 19th-century manor house, its charming gardens and its antique furnishings. But what lingers most in the memories of its guests is the food served in the dining room, and it is breakfast, the often forgotten meal, that is remembered above all.

Even passionate fans of breakfast will find these recipes tempting for meals at any hour.

For Donna Leahy, the usual morning fare is just a departure point for her original menus. Take oatmeal, for instance. Even that sturdy but mundane dish is transformed, combined with apples and pecans and baked into flaky phyllo packets. Eggs also achieve new status--with pancetta on potato nests or with risotto, spinach, and parmesan cheese. Equally seductive are corn waffles with smoked salmon, gingerbread pancakes with apple raisin syrup or walnut French toast with poached pears and Stilton cheese.

The dishes in Leahy's "Late Risers" chapter in particular move easily from early in the day to brunch and lunch, and then on to supper--and even beyond. Seared scallops with pink grapefruit and caviar, for just one example, make a lovely brunch, but they could as easily open the most formal dinner party. And why confine wild rice and almonds tossed in orange vinaigrette to the A.M.?

Donny Leahy's cuisine is brightly contemporary, rooted in tradition and very much her own. In addition to her brilliant food scene, she has the advantage of cooking in the heart of Lancaster County, one of America's richest farmlands, and she shares her knowledge of find ingredients with her readers. As a first-rate innkeeper, she also has developed amazing organizational skills and in the final section of this book offers menus for entertaining and strategic one- and two-day plans for executing them.

Morning Glories is a book that will become a standard, providing recipes that will be favorites for family meals as well as spectacular show-stoppers for special occasions.

Tired of the standard breakfast fare such plain pancakes, instant oatmeal, and dry cereal, and unable to do unhealthy meals such as biscuits and sausage gravy on anything but the rare occasion, I went hunting for a cookbook devoted specifically to breakfast foods. I didn't exactly find the shelves overflowing with such cookbooks - but fortunately, this was one of them. Compared to the other sparse offerings available in the bookstore, this one was the definite winner. Not necessarily due to the number of recipes, because this cookbook isn't exactly overflowing with them, but because of what looked like quality past what others I saw. As stated by the book jacket, they are not your traditional breakfasts in any manner - each recipe has unusual ingredients for the type of food, each is fancier than what you're used to - and plenty of them aren't that much harder to make.

So, deciding that even a single recipe that was good would be worth it, I purchased the book. It ended up being a while until I made anything from it - not from not wanting to, mind you, just that it took some time to actually be willing to get up and make breakfast. Finally, one morning, we got up a bit earlier, and decided to make something for breakfast. Finally, instead of looking in the book and thinking "I need to make this someday", I actually did it. And the recipe was not only simple to follow, but the breakfast was most definitely worth it.

There is a large variety of recipes in the book, many that I would never think to make for breakfast. Heck, there are some that I probably will never make, as they're not my style. But that's ok, because there are plenty more that I definately will have to make some morning. The recipes are not just your casual weekend breakfast fare, either - very few dishes seem like they would not be appropriate for serving to company - or even a fancy breakfast. I am very, very happy with this book, as everything made so far has been downright delicious. Sometimes I feel I can't decide what to make for breakfast, they all look so incredibly good.

At the beginning of the book, there's even a little description of their Inn, their attitude toward breakfast (as a "forgotten" meal), and a short description of the area the Inn is located in. At the end is a selection of menus for special events, such as a Bridal breakfast, sunrise picnic, a brunch buffet, or a hands-on breakfast for kids. They have lists of things that can be done two days in advance, and one day in advance, to make it easier to make the food on the morning of the event.

I decided I had to write something about this book here on E2 because I've noded a couple recipes already. I should at least allow people who enjoyed them to find out more about the book they came from, and see what else is available. I'll follow with the complete list of recipes in the book, with links to the few that I've noded. That seems like the best way to give the flavor of what's in the book, and let people wanting to find some good breakfast recipes see if they want to add this to their collection. I think it's definately worth it, and grow more convinced of that each time I make something new from it.

List of Recipes

Beyond Muffins - Baked Goods for Breakfast
  • Cranberry Apple Pecan Bread Pudding with Vanilla Bean Custard
  • Lemon Souffle with Blueberry Swirl
  • Raisin Scones with Lemon Curd
  • Croissant Cinnamon Raisin Buns
  • Wild Blueberry Bread
  • Raspberry Lemon Turnovers
  • Hazelnut Cinnamon Biscotti
  • Strawberry Cream Puffs with Mascarpone and Fresh Berry Coulis
  • Coffe Chocolate Pecan Popovers
  • Cranberry Pear ]Clafouti]
  • Apple Cheese Tart with Raisins and Walnuts
  • Blueberry Almont Tart with Frangipane
  • Almond Pear Tart with Apricot Glaze
  • Apple Cranberry Lattice Tart
  • Peach Fritters with Almond Cream
  • Blueberry Peach Cobbler with Cinnamon Sugar
  • Apple Walnut Streusel Cake with Cinnamon Custard
  • Blackberry Cream Streusel Cake with Cinnamon Cream
  • Peach Streusel Coffeecake
  • Carrot, Pumpkin and Pecan Cakes with Orange Filling
  • Lemon Poppy Seed Sandwiches with Lemon Cream Filling
  • Baked Apple with Oatmeal, Cinnamon and Pecans in Phyllo
  • Creamy Arborio Rice Pudding with Amaretto and Carmelized Sugar
Beverages, Fruits and Soups for Starters
  • Cinnamon Nutmeg Eggnog
  • Gazpacho Tomato Juice Cocktail
  • Cinnamon Peach Nectar
  • Strawberry Pear Frothy
  • Orange Peach Iced Tea
  • Cranberry Grapefruit Cocktail
  • Strawberry Lemon Spritzer
  • Capuccino Hot Chocolate
  • White Grape Juice Cocktail
  • Strawberries, Bananas and Strawberry Mint Coulis
  • Pineapple with Blackberry, Figs and Lemon
  • Sliced Apple with Raisins, Walnuts and Honey Poppy Seed Glaze
  • Sweet Honeydew with Berries and Blueberry Banana Sauce
  • Lemon Poached Pears with Berry Pear Sauce
  • Cantaloupe with Blackberry Peach Puree
  • Orange, Kiwi and Banana Slices with Orange Honey Glaze
  • Strawberry Champagne Soup
  • Cantaloupe Soup with Blackberry Swirl
  • Artichoke Dill Soup
  • White Seafood Gazpacho
  • Broccoli Roquefort Soup
  • Roasted Garlic Soup with Roasted Yellow Pepper Creme Fraiche
  • Wild Mushroom and Pancetta Soup
Exceptional Eggs
  • Pesto Eggs with Leeks and Asparagus
  • Tarragon-Baked Eggs in Brioche with Wild Mushrooms and Madeira
  • Crab, Egg and Brie Soffles with Chive Sauce
  • Nested Eggs with Potato Blini, Chive Cream and Caviar
  • Egg Strata with Roasted Garlic, Tomatoes and Eggplant
  • Baked Eggs with Pancetta on Shredded Potato Nests
  • Eggs with Salmon in Dill Crepes
  • Truffled Risotto Eggs with Spinach and Shaved Parmesan
  • Eggs "Oscar" with Lobster, Asparagus Tips and Tarragon Rounds
  • Cilantro Corn Pudding with Scallions, Peppers and Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Baked Eggs with Basil Pancakes and Plum Tomato Confit
  • Rolled Basil Souffle with Roasted Red Pepper Coulis
  • Basil Crepes with Ricotta, Eggs, Onions and Artichokes
  • Asparagus, Chevre and Roasted Pepper Napoleon with Pepper Cream
  • Smoked Trout Frittata
  • Wild Rice and Scallion Egg Tarts in Herb Crust
  • Asparagus Egg Tart with Roquefort, White Wine and Cracked Pepper
  • Crisp Noodle Cakes with Shrimp, Chinese Black Beans and Poached Eggs
  • Spring Rolls with Wild Mushrooms, Goat Cheese and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
  • Baked Tomato, Egg and Smoked Mozzarella in Phyllo Cups
  • Sun-Dried Tomato, Egg and Gorgonzola in Phyllo Strudel
  • Potato Skins with Egg, Tomato and Brie
  • Grilled Portobello Mushrooms with Basil Egg Topping
  • Rolled Cilantro Omelette with Cheddar and Salsa Fresca
Fabulous French Toast, Uncommon Pancakes and Waffles
  • Cinnamon Bread Pudding French Toast with Bourbon Sauce
  • Raspberry-Almond Croissant French Toast
  • Cornmeal-Crusted French Toast with Strawberry Butter
  • Walnut French Toast with Poached Pears and Stilton
  • French Toast with Praline Syrup
  • Cinnamon French Toast with Apricot-Cheese Filling
  • Blueberry Corncakes with Creamy Blueberry Topping
  • Lemon Cheese Cakes with Strawberry Glaze
  • Crisp Cinnamon Cakes with Maple Caramelized Apples
  • Minted Pancakes with Raspberry Coulis
  • Pancakes with Tangy Chutney
  • Chocolate Chip Pancakes with Cinnamon Bananas
  • Corn Waffles with Smoked Salmon and Caviar Cream
  • Walnut Buttermilk Pancakes with Sauteed Apple Rings
  • Pumpkin Waffles with Cider Syrup
  • Blackberry Crepes with Blood Oranges and Mascarpone
  • Grilled Polenta Cakes with Cilantro and Sweet Corn Salsa
  • Nutmeg Risotto Cakes with Rum Raisin Syrup
  • Gingerbread Cakes with Apple Raisin Syrup
Late Risers - Buffets and Brunches
  • Chicken Salad with Tarragon Pesto and Red Grapes
  • Soft Shell Crabs with Almost and Shallot-Dill Vinaigrette
  • Crabcakes with Old Bay Potatoes and Dijon Aioli
  • Curried Shrimp Salad with Mango Peach Mayonnaise
  • Napoleon of Smoked Salmon, Goat Cheese and Dill
  • Scallops with Pink Grapefruit and Caviar
  • Marinated Tuna Carpaccio with Herb Vinaigrette
  • Mushroom, Fontina and Prosciutto Ravioli
  • Tortellini Salad with Gorgonzola, Roasted Peppers and Pepper-Oil
  • Baked Goat Cheese with Roasted Red Pepper and Mesclun
  • Phyllo Packets with Lobster, Gruyere and Tarragon
  • Smoked Salmon and Scallop Terrine with Dill, Lemon and Capers
  • Roasted Pork Tenderloin with Carmalized Apples and Mustard Sauce
  • Trout with Cornmeal Crust and White Wine Chive Sauce
  • Radicchio and Mushroom Salad with Balsalmic Vinaigrette
  • Watercress and Frisee Salad with Roquefort and Warm Pancetta Dressing
  • Wild Rice and Almonds with Orange Vinaigrette
  • Duck and Spinach Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette
  • Eggplant Strata with Caramelized Onions, Zucchini, and Fresh Tomato Sauce
  • Endive with Smoked Chicken and Gorgonzola Salad

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